Cycling infrastructure in Scotland is set to be upgraded ©sportscotland

The Scottish Government and sportscotland have launched an £8 million ($10.5 million/€8.87 million) fund to improve cycling facilities across the country, prior to Glasgow hosting the 2023 International Cycling Union (UCI) Cycling World Championships.

The Cycling Facilities Fund will develop a network of accessible, inclusive and inspiring facilities designed to take advantage of an anticipated increase of interest in cycling.

Half of the money is coming from the Scottish Government, with the other half via sportscotland's National Lottery funding.

"The projects backed by this fund will inspire more people to get on their bikes, bringing benefits to people across Scotland as an enjoyable leisure activity and an efficient way to improve their health," Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said.

"We want to build on the incredible growth in cycling this year and see even more people choosing to travel to school or work on two wheels.

"Our overall aim is for Scotland to become one of Europe's top cycling nations.

"The Scottish Government's commitment to working with the UCI to host the first ever multi-world championships for cycling at one time in one country is a game-changing opportunity for cycling in Scotland."

Many of Glasgow's cycle paths are due to be improved before 2023 ©Getty Images
Many of Glasgow's cycle paths are due to be improved before 2023 ©Getty Images

Scottish Cycling and sportscotland will deliver infrastructure improvements over the next two years, while in Glasgow itself there are already plans to improve cycle paths.

Cycling projects across Scotland will be able to apply to sportscotland for support from the Cycling Facilities Fund.

"Thanks to this new fund we have a unique opportunity to harness the growing interest in cycling and to promote health and well-being, taking a significant step towards our vision of an active Scotland where everyone sees sport as a way of life," said Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive.

The first of its kind, the 2023 Cycling World Championships will combine 13 disciplines into one event, including road and track.

Four key policy drivers - participation, transport, tourism and economy - have been identified in regard to the positive economic and social change it is hpoed the event will bring to Glasgow and the surrounding area.